One female student shot and wounded another before fatally shooting herself Thursday morning at western Texas’ Alpine High School, a sheriff said.
A federal agent also was accidentally shot by a marshal as officers responded to the first shooting, Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson said. The agent’s condition was described as stable, Dodson said, but the injured student’s condition wasn’t released.
The shooting happened about 9 a.m. at the school in Alpine, a community of about 6,500 people roughly 200 miles southeast of El Paso.
The first shooting happened outside a restroom in the school’s band hall, Dodson said. A deputy happened to be at the back of the school when authorities were alerted to the shooting, Dodson said. The deputy entered the band building, found a student who’d been shot in a bathroom and recovered the gun, Dodson said.
Video showed students evacuated from the building huddled together and hugging each other. Police officers patrolled the streets outside the school holding rifles and officers from other jurisdictions descended on Alpine in force.
The Brewster County Sheriff’s Office initially said two shooters were believed to be on the loose, but Dodson said late Thursday morning that with the initial shooter dead, no others were being sought.
Authorities also were trying to find a person who telephoned bomb threats after the shooting, Dodson said.
CNN affiliate KWES said the wounded agent worked for Homeland Security.
Information about the motive for the shooting and the names of those involved were not released.
‘There was blood on the floor’
A junior at the school told CNN that students had just started the day’s second period when a teacher outside her class began yelling, “Get in the classroom!”
“My teacher … yelled to everyone to get into the closet,” said the junior, whom CNN is not naming because she is a minor.
“We heard someone yelling and running down the hall. We all started crying.”
After a time, a law enforcement officer banged on the classroom door and ushered the students out, she said.
“There was blood on the floor in the cafeteria that I saw when we went past it on our way out of the school,” the student said. “One of the officers told us to keep our hands up and run out of the building, so I only saw the blood quickly.”
“It was so scary and very intense. I’ve never been so scared in my life.”
The school, which has about 280 students, initially was placed on lockdown, the school district said. But students were being evacuated by 9:40 a.m., the Alpine Avalanche newspaper said on its Facebook page.
In a post reporting the evacuation, the Avalanche included an image of people gathering outside along a street.
Thursday’s shooting came just over two weeks after the new school year began.
Residents of Alpine thought they were immune to seemingly random gun violence, the sheriff said at a news conference. The school does not have metal detectors, he noted.
“You can believe we are upset,” he said. “We are still in shock for the most part.”